North Carolina-based business analytics firm SAS has installed a 1 MW on-site photovoltaic system at its headquarters.

The system, which provides power to the Progress Energy utility grid, was designed by SunPower Corporation and is estimated to generate 1.7 GWh per year.

Covering five acres the project went from concept to operational in less than a year, the company says.

‘This is an important milestone for our state,’ said Lloyd Yates, CEO and president of Progress Energy Carolinas, which will purchase the energy produced by the solar array.

In related news, SunPower also recently announced the completion of a 554 kW solar power system at the Wal-Mart store in Hanford, California. The system is estimated to generate approximately 15% of the store’s electricity demand.

Part of a Wal-Mart pilot project to purchase solar power systems from SunPower and other solar providers for up to 22 Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution centers in California and Hawaii, the systems help move Wal-Mart towards its long-term goal to have a 100% renewable energy supply.

‘Companies like Wal-Mart are turning to solar power because it makes good business sense and supports their environmental initiatives’, said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower Corp.